Sunday, April 04, 2010
wanna see my picture on the cover
wanna buy five copies for my mother
wanna see my smilin' face
on the cover of the rolling stone"
(Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show - The Cover of the Rolling Stone, 1973)
well, it's not the Rolling Stone, but better, seriously!!! the Knights of Columbus have a monthly magazine, Columbia. every month they have someone on the back cover sharing their journey of faith, and how they have answered God's call to embrace their particular vocation. this month, in April's edition, that would be me, Father April, as i'm now known to some. i'm there because of the tremendous help that the Knights have been for me in answering my call to the priesthood. from day one, when i was a wee seminarian, still wet behind the ears entering the seminary, throughout my six years of formation, the Knights supported me and encouraged me financially and through their prayers. many different Councils from the Archdiocese helped me take the necessary steps so that one day i may embrace the Cross of Christ. because of them, their fidelity to the Church, and their authentic Christian witness, i became a third degree knight during my internship year at St-Joseph parish in Orléans.
however, if i am there, on the back cover, it is because of God! i'm there because of His love and mercy for me! if anyone should be signing the back, or front cover, it would be Him. indeed, by the grace of God, there go i, as St. Paul taught me. it does not change the fact that i'm collecting 5copies as we speak so that i may give them to mom!
Happy Easter! last week were getting ready to rrrruuummmbllle (during Holy Week), and the Easter Triduum - Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and today, Easter Sunday - were like a mini-marathon! i loved every minute of it. i felt the gift of the priesthood in a very special way on Holy Thursday, laid down my life again for Christ and His Church on Good Friday, and celebrated the Resurrection during the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday! the bells during the Gloria were like nothing i've ever heard before. it was beautiful!!! Christ is Risen. I have seen the Lord.
preparing for homilies takes time, and it is a big part of the priest's ministry. of course, the man of God must be rooted in prayer, and because of that reality, he has something to say, as all Christians do. the issue remains, how to say it! preparing for Sunday morn' homily, my attention veered towards Plato. the seminary opened my world to philosophy. what it taught me is that i know nothing. anywho, i recalled Plato's allegory of the cave (video). the prisoner's do not know reality, only shadows. only after they have been set free, and begin seeing things for the very first time do they come to know the truth - though difficult at first, they know not what they see, nor how to explain it. however, after their eyes get acclimatize, they start to understand, and need to share this new joy with their companions, and the world. after seeing, experiencing the light of Christ, everything changes, as we do today, the day of the Resurrection! i have seen the Lord, and now everything i knew, is transformed because of the encounter with the living God. He is Risen. Indeed, He is truly Risen. Amen! Alleluia!!!
Happy Easter. don't eat too much chocolate!
Friday, April 02, 2010
"today is the greatest day
i've ever known"
(Smashing Pumpkins - Today, 1993)
after an amazing and powerful liturgy last night during the Mass of the Lord's supper, i celebrated today the liturgy of Good Friday. here's my homily:
today, Good Friday, is the most solemn day on the liturgical calendar, and the homily demands briefness, in order to let the proclaimed Passion speak for itself. The liturgy of Good Friday, in which we enter into the mystery of Christ’s redemptive death, invites us to contemplate the deep relationship between the Last Supper and the sacrifice of Calvary – what has begun last night, continues today.
on Good Friday, we find ourselves standing at the foot of the cross with our Blessed Lady and the holy women. We once again hear the Passion of St. John proclaimed, which, from start to finish, is the story of Christ’s glorious victory, shining through his broken and crucified humanity. Many things are going on this Easter Weekend, and we take time today to remember Our Lord JC, and what he has done for us! After spending the day with my brother priests this week at the Mass of the Chrism, I realize how busy they are as well. It is because of the Paschal or Easter Triduum that the Church refrains from scheduling baptisms and/or weddings – the priests are busy too. In this same vein, it has been misunderstood, though, or wrongly communicated that there should be no confessions. The scheduling of confessions on Good Friday and Holy Saturday is admirable and not at all in conflict either with the letter or the spirit of the liturgical norms. Perhaps one of the more eloquent arguments in support of this position is the practice of the Holy Father himself, who has personally heard confessions as a regular practice on Good Friday.
at this point I recall what Our Lord did for the repentant thief. When one was heard saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” The other said, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when you come into Your kingdom.” If Our Lord has the time to hear one last confession, before his death – death on a Cross, surely this puts aside any doubt as to whether the priest can hear confessions during the Easter Triduum. Through the priest's words of forgiveness and absolution, the penitent hears once again the words of Christ to the repentant thief, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
as we continue with the liturgy, we will be invited to venerate our crucified Lord on the Cross. This is a powerful gesture of affirming our personal sorrow for whatever way our own sins necessitated such suffering. Like the good thief, carrying our cross, we also see something in Jesus that we cannot explain - he saw a man on a tree and knew He was God. His need made him see his own guilt and Our Lord's innocence. A common thief responded to His love with deep Faith, Hope, and Charity. He saw more than his eyes envisioned - he felt a Presence he could not explain and would not argue with. He was in need, and accepted the way God designed to help him.
the promise of eternal life is made to the good thief, and to you and I today – our tears, are not tears of sorrow but of joy, for a God who loves us so much. Indeed, this is the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Saviour of the world.